This morning, I grabbed my laptop, laptop bag, lunch box and ………. a mask! As of today, in Victoria, we all have to wear masks when not at home. This is rather alien to our culture – as we love to socialize, interact, show our faces as part of our communication and not be hampered by any involunatary extras.
This had a big impact on me. I no longer see my gorgeous smiling students. I cannot gauge how they are feeling as their eyes do not tell me enough. All I see is a sea of masks covering their mouths and noses!
Only a few days notice was given to this announcement, but students and teachers have all turned up to school today with masks on. There are a few exemptions for those with health issues. The law is that we need a face covering but most have gone for masks.The masks are in all shapes, colours and sizes. Some are wearing a scarf to cover their mouth and nose. Only a few are wearing disposable masks
As a teacher, we are do not have to wear them whilst actually teaching in the classroom or when eating or drinking but we must wear them at all other times – in the corridor, at our desk and out in the yard!
Problems: we are not used to wearing them and the vast majority do not want to wear them, so:-
- takes a bit of used to for breathing in them.
- self consciousness for a start. Students dont want to look different and some were shy etc However, as everyone is wearing them, they became more adjusted as the day progressed.
- anyone with glasses finds their glasses can fog up.
- hearing students voices is really difficult as many of them mumble at the best of times. We all have to learn to articulate our speech and to project our voice
- some have found that the elastic on their masks is not tight enough so they fall off (We had spares at the office for those students).
- some found the elastic was too small so they could not put it around their ears. Therefore schools need to have a supply of spare disposable face masks.
- The mask elastic straps need to go over my glasses, so that my glasses do not fall off.
Other queries include:
- health issues
- looking after the mask so it is effective
- where to dispose of reusable masks
- how often should reuseable masks be worn